You’re in the midst of a world tour. Do the Foos have any secret preshow rituals?
Some bands pray to God they’ll have the best show of their lives. Some bands huddle in a rugby scrum and yell, “Go team!” We listen to Michael Jackson’s Off the Wall and do Jäger bombs, which are David Lee Roth juice. If you want to be David Lee Roth onstage, you need at least four Jäger bombs to get you there.
Have you ever played a show sober?
Yeah, but not in fucking 15 years. When you play sober, you’re hyperaware of everything going on, whereas nonsober shows are fun because you don’t give a fuck—it usually turns into a blood-and-public-nudity display.
Have you gotten bloody and publicly naked a lot on this tour?
I cracked my head on the mike stand and had this huge goose egg with rips on it. I looked like a Bumfights movie. Pretty gross.
Are you into those Bumfights videos?
Actually, I had a party at my house once and someone brought them, and I was so fucking pissed off because (a) someone turned on a TV at one of my parties, and (b) they played something as horrendously offensive as Bumfights.
So what do you watch on TV?
I’m in love with the Bravo channel. I dig a lot of the metrosexual shows: Top Chef, Project Runway. I do a little America’s Next Top Model every now and then, but that’s just the womanizer in me. I like to see those girls strut.
Is it hard to keep the womanizer in you at bay now that you’re happily married?
No. Women don’t look at me like I’m Fabio; they look at me like I’m Duckie from Pretty in Pink.
You have a little daughter. Are you gonna be one of those “cool” dads who buy their kids beer and smoke pot with them?
No. I’m not going to be one of those rock star parents with massive piles of cocaine lying around for the 10-year-olds to play with.
Any parenting advice for Britney?
Fame will screw with your head, and if you don’t have a solid foundation, you get swept away in it. When Nirvana became famous, I was only 21, but I had a good foundation. Whenever crap got too crazy, I’d go back to Virginia and spend time with the people who loved me the most, and it kept me from getting dragged under. The kids now who are experiencing fame, money, paparazzi—they need to get their asses out of the nightclubs and have a barbecue with their fucking family once a week. It’s not rocket science.
Do you ever listen to Nirvana albums?
Not really. I hear the songs on the radio every now and then, but it’s an effort to listen to them because I immediately remember what it was like the day we recorded—the food or the fucking snowstorm. It’s like opening a box of old pictures, and I don’t like to do that too often.
After all this, how have you managed to keep the title of nicest guy in rock?
I don’t know. If people have to pay attention to “keeping it real,” they already have a problem. I’m not a big deal. I might as well be the guy who fixes your fucking washing machine.
Does the band keep you in check? You guys like to give each other a hard time.
Screw, yeah. To be in this band, you have to have tough skin. We rip each other 24/7. If someone blows it live, that’s all we talk about until he’s on the verge of tears. I get made fun of after every show for something ridiculous I’ve done.
Do you ever forget your own lyrics?
Almost every night. But I don’t even think people notice. They’re like, “Ooh, pretty lasers.”
Any plans to play for the troops in Iraq?
Not at the moment. I’d like to be able to go to as many places as possible, but after a while it’s like, damn, man—I just want to go to Costco and Blockbuster and take a fucking nap.
Can crowds tell when you get burnt out?
When the set list starts getting weird—when I’m picking crap from albums I made 12 years ago just to get off—that’s how they can tell.
For a while there, a lot of death rumors were circulating about you. Why?
I suppose that being a rock musician gives me a stunted life expectancy. There are so many romantic ways to go out as a rock star, like a helicopter crash or driving around the hills of fucking Iceland…
How would you want to go?
Let’s see—by drowning? That seems peaceful, but ugh—inhaling water? A plane crash? No, I don’t want to be burned by all that fuel. My fantasy is that I’ll die under a massive concrete slab with razor blades sticking out of it. It would kill me instantly and rip me to pieces. A lot of cleanup, but only a little pain.
Are you going to heaven or hell?
I’d like to imagine I won’t wind up in hell, but I think I’ve done too much acid and listened to too much death metal to sit on a cloud next to God with angels floating above my head.
Have you had any bad acid trips?
I took a couple of hits of acid on a boat from England to Belgium once, and I wound up running in circles for three hours, hallucinating that tiny dinosaurs were chewing everybody’s ankles. That was fucked up. I didn’t come down for 12 hours.